I say no.

A lot.

Over the years, the invitations extended have declined.

I’m OK with that. The folks who care and who matter to me most figure out ways to stay in touch and connected. They get it and their thoughtfulness and kindness inspire.

I am a homebody, an introvert.

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I can do the whole social scene and I navigate it well. I’ve even been labeled outgoing (which is true) and an extrovert (which is totally false).

Outgoing as I may be, the social scene drains me.

I get my fill very quickly, and then I need the quiet . . . and I wanna go to bed as early as isn’t ridiculously possible.

I need quiet that is now hard to come by, even in my own home.

I have three small children and they have no volume control. They also hate all things sleep.

Now I say no more than I ever have before.

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Without the quiet and rest to recharge, I never fully regroup and the notion of entertaining or going somewhere and making small talk does nothing to inspire my excitement.

Everything at this juncture feels like work, requiring energy and brain power I just don’t have.

Never mind the fact my children require a consistent schedule that’s hard to maintain when our calendar fills with stuff or that they aren’t good travelers and sleep horribly when we attempt to take them on the road.

And so I say no.

And you know what? I’m not going to feel bad about it, and I don’t owe anyone an explanation.

I’m actually quite astonished at the number of folks who feel they are owed an explanation and become downright nasty when they aren’t afforded one.

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If you can’t look at our situation and have an immediate understanding of why we may need to decline an invite (or why we never invite you over), then try falling back on assuming best intent. Then, take it one step further and ask if we are OK and if there’s anything you can do to help.

In most cases, our desire to shy away is not personal. The kids need their schedule and mama just doesn’t have it in her.

Hilary Doyle

Hilary is a wife and mother of three living in Colorado. She enjoys projects (especially with her young kiddos), gardening, writing, reading and swinging a club on the golf course. Her education and work experience fall in the category of mental health but her heart is in her home - just as God intended. Follow her at SimplyWriteous.com.